The long journey of traveling back home and reverse culture shock
It has officially been one week since Raja Ampat. I spent a stupid amount of hours for layover and delays, but well worth my dream trip. Although only 4 days of diving, it was soul satisfying to be back underwater.
Since moving to the direction of travel diaries, I wanna write about the conversations I had with a few of the people I met. I like traveling alone especially when scuba diving because I am in control of my schedule and activities. There are days when I want to dive and there are days I want to just lay on the beach. Also, when scuba diving, divers tend to be really friendly and always have a story about diving they like to tell.
I was inspired meeting an independent Indonesian woman with a successful (in my eyes) scuba diving "shop". She is a strong 40 year old woman living the life she intended. Diving everyday is a choice out of pure joy, not financial obligations. She saw Raja Ampat on TV, decided she wanted to go, and 9 years later still living there and running a successful business....the only thing she misses from home is her momma. She talked about how Raja Ampat in prior years had so many whales passing through, but she hasn't seen a whale this year yet. She's had to move her business a couple times, but she possess a non-attachment and ability to pick up and start over attitude that I have too. I felt a sigh of relief for my future when I met her.
Her business partner Sandy has a similar story. He saw Raja Ampat on TV, decided to move from a landlocked city in Java to Bali to learn how to be a scuba diving instructor. He made his way to Raja Ampat and doing exactly what he wanted.
We had a conversation about Indonesian's body structure and western body structures. Indonesian have a hard time floating, while my Dutch friend and I need 4kg weights to sink. I got a good laugh at Sandy's reenactment of trying to pass the floating test for his scuba license.
And it's stories like these, which is the main reason for travel. Meeting Indonesians and listening to their stories breaks all the stereotypical images the media portrays.
When there's a pause or delay, use that time to chase one of the many other dreams you have. I am currently waiting on research permits and official letters to come around. Until then, I just booked the trip of my dreams. Going to where Nat Geo and other documentaries have filmed and I am going to experiences these places with my own eyes. Raja Ampat, here I come.
beauty beyond measure
a friend who inspires me to chase my wildest dreams @raymondjakub
Searching and reading a bunch of these "travel blogs" have been quite boring for me. I don't see anything different or new. Thus, I am moving away from the beautifully edited and cookie cutter blog post to a travel diary style.
I'm going to write what I want, how I want, and in a more relaxed format because trying to emulate the other travel bloggers gives me too much anxiety to be perfect. I didn't feel like myself because I was trying to craft the perfect words for the perfect blog post. NAH! I am doing this blog for myself, therefore.....imma be myself.
I'm a lot funnier in person than the well crafted text I usually write for academic purposes or grants. 😂
Not afraid to be me
Research does pay off.
Looking for something in between Blogger (not pretty, but easy to start) and Wordpress (gorgeous themes, but code by yourself).
I FOUND SQUARE SPACE. Thanks to a couple friends like @whit.in.wanderlust & Lisa Miles for telling me about it.
I am in love with the customization, simple design, and almost intuitive design process.
I finally feel ready to get moving on creating content and tell you some stories about traveling in Southeast Asia, scuba diving, and living in Indonesia.... all through the lens of a Vietnamese-American living the dream she's always wanted. #manifestthelifeyouwant
Let's get it
taken in Malaysia